New York wins federal education money, man accused of punching police horse, man allegedly stole puppies at gunpoint

The feds awarded New York State almost $700 million in "Race to the Top" education funding yesterday. New York's application was apparently aided by a deal with teachers' unions to incorporate standardized test scores into teacher evaluations. And to emphasize that the US Secretary of Education -- Arne Duncan -- will be appearing at NYSUT headquarters in Latham on Monday. The state education director said more than half of the federal money will got directly to local school districts -- though it could be a while before local districts know what they're getting and when. (Also: Which race was this, governor?) [NYT] [TU] [TU] [AP/Troy Record] [Saratogian] [WNYC]

The three Republican candidates vying to challenge Kirsten Gillibrand for the US Senate debated last night in Schenectady. Recap: one, two, lightning round. The three candidates generally agreed that the federal government is spending too much money. Bruce Blakeman caught attention for saying KG is an "attractive, bright woman, who I believe is a good mom" when asked to say something nice about her. She's apparently clairvoyant, too -- her "reaction" statement was released before the debate. [AP/Troy Record] [State of Politics x3] [TU] [YNN] [State of Politcs]

Saratoga Springs police say a man punched a police horse in the face two weekends ago on Caroline Street. They say Jupiter, the horse, is OK after the alleged punch. [TU] [Saratogian]

Albany County Surrogate Court Judge candidate Helena Heath-Roland was found "not qualified" by the state Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commissions (she was the only one of the four to so tagged). Heath-Roland says she doesn't know why the commission gave her that rating. [NYS Courts] [TU]

Troy police say a woman reported being jumped and beaten by two women who apparently thought the victim had "messing with her man" -- until the alleged attackers decided they had the wrong person (map). [Troy Record]

A retired NYC transit cop is facing charges for allegedly attempting to sell guns to a convicted felon in Schenectady. [TU]

Albany police say they arrested a man for allegedly stealing two pitbull puppies at gunpoint from a house in the South End (map). [CBS6]

Albany police say they've arrested a man for allegedly stealing money and credit cards from purses at St. Peter's Hospital. [Fox23]

State police are still searching Washington County for the undocumented worker who allegedly dragged a trooper with his truck. [Daily Gazette]

Washington County officials say an improperly used fuse is to blame for the fire that killed six children in June. [Post-Star]

Saratoga Citizen, the group pushing to change Saratoga Springs form of government, has filed suit over its rejection charter change petition. [Saratogian]

The state proposal for how to spend pollution violation settlement money from the LaFarge cement plant in Ravena didn't go over well at a public meeting. [TU]

Cohoes took another step toward demolition of the old Cohoes Theater, though some are still hoping to save the building. [Troy Record]

There appears to be a bumper crop of marijuana this year. [Post-Star]

Comments

So far the only thing netted in the manhunt for Abel Jimenez are pot plants. Are you kidding? 100 cops with infrared, choppers, and K-9's can't find a single Mexican after 4 days searching local cornfields. Again a chopper buzzed my house 8am this morning. THERE ARE NO MEXICANS IN MY BACKYARD HIDING AMONG THE TREES.

We've had an arsonist on the loose for over 18 months, a massive DWI problem, and property theft and damage (autos and home invasions) here in Schaghticoke/Easton/Hoosick/Cambridge. I got pulled over 2 weeks ago 3 houses down from my property and asked if I saw a neighborhood break-in suspect vehicle. When I replied that I didn't and asked the trooper for his card for follow-up, he replied he didn't have any. Why bother?

But when a cop peppersprays the perp and reaches in the vehicle to turn off the ignition he gets dragged. Did Trooper Smith follow protocol with this arrest method? TU reports he was scheduled for release Tuesday and recovering. Thank the Good Lord Above he wasn't more seriously hurt.

My point is this: who are the cops working for? Are they interested in protecting us and our property here in northern Rensselaer/southern Washington County, or only seeking vengeance with a show of force that rivals the last stand at the Alamo with a look of a pack of crazed coy-dogs? Look it- harassing teenage girls to look in their vehicle trunks for hidden fugitive evidence is nothing short of overkill.

Keep your $1K reward and go bust the illegals on the backstretch of the track instead. If I was Jimenez I'd hide out there as its probably the safest sanctuary in a 50-mile radius. ICE agents are already in town any way let them cross the river and visit Saratoga. B-b-b-but on Travers weekend? THE HORROR.

All the recent "mosque" headlines have really been getting me down. But, two articles I read yesterday, gave me a little hope that not everybody is ignorant to the difference between a Muslim and a terrorist. I think they both summed it up better than I can, so I hope you will read them.

The first from Albany's own Kevin Marshall:

http://blog.timesunion.com/marshall/mosque-madness/1838/

The second from the Mayor of NYC, Mike Bloomberg:

http://www.mikebloomberg.com/index.cfm?objectid=A6E94126-C29C-7CA2-F17405EFF4C45816

I hardly ever read the news anymore. And now I know why. Crazy people, animal abuse, women jumping each other, kids dying because of faulty fuses.. on behalf of humanity I will now fall on my sword.

@ Chester

Good reads/links. My issue lies with how this multi-million dollar community center is being funded. Even the contractor has failed to provide this information. This is a very sensitive issue and I think the Muslim organization planning this construction needs to be as transparent as the city and New Yorkers demand.

@ph Evidently it's being funded by the same guy who owns a lot of stock in Fox news and donated a chunk of change to the George Bush Scholarship.

Thanks for the insightful reply Honey....keep 'em coming!

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